Jamie Clark, a Levant native, always had plans to eventually open a brick-and-mortar location for her subscription box service, the Willie Wags. It’s just that her timetable for opening such a place was moved up many months after being mentioned last December on a syndicated radio show hosted by Elvis Duran that has 12 million listeners.
Now, the Willie Wags, Clark’s company that offers goods made by woman-owned businesses, will open its retail store in downtown Bangor, at 78 Harlow St., the former location of BookMarc’s, a bookstore that closed in January. Subscription boxes are monthly subscriptions for a particular thing — in the case of the Willie Wags, goods from woman-owned businesses. Subscribers pay a monthly or yearly fee, and they are mailed a box of goodies once a month.
“We always knew this would be more than just a subscription box. It was a movement,” said Clark, of her woman-centric business. “It was just a matter of timing of when we’d open a store… but after that mention on Elvis Duran’s show, our online sales exploded. It crashed our site. We got to the growth stage almost overnight.”
Clark’s retail store will offer many of the goods offered in the boxes, like clothing, accessories, home goods, body products and books, but with expanded offerings and sizes for all kinds of women. Clark already has extensive experience in retail, having owned and operated the Levant Corner Store for nearly ten years prior to starting Willie Wags — in fact, Levant Corner Store whoopie pies were featured in a box once. A small selection of what Willie Wags offers is already sold online; expect those products and more in the retail store.
“We’re fun and quirky, and we highlight female founders and small businesses,” said Clark. “With the store, we can branch out and tell those businesses’ stories. It’s going to be very intentional and interactive.”
Clark said she’s excited to move to downtown Bangor, and that the time and place worked out perfectly for her move.
“There’s a really strong and tight-knit business community downtown, and it really worked out perfectly when this space became available. We think we’ll be a really good addition to the retail scene,” said Clark. “We’re saying we’ll be open later this spring. We’re already at work in the building.”